Treatment of W. bancrofti (Wb) in HIV/Wb Coinfections in South India

Citation: Talaat KR, Babu S, Menon P, Kumarasamy N, Sharma J, Arumugam J, et al. (2015) Treatment of W. bancrofti (Wb) in HIV/Wb Coinfections in South India. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(3): e0003622. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003622
Published: March 20, 2015

Abstract
Background: The disease course of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is often altered by existing or newly acquired coincident infections.
Wuchereria bancroftiMethodology/Principal Findings: To assess the influence of pre-existing Wuchereria bancrofti infection on HIV progression, we performed a case-controlled treatment study of HIV positive individuals with (FIL+) or without (FIL-) W. bancrofti infection. Twenty-eight HIV+/FIL+ and 51 matched HIV+/FIL- subjects were treated with a single dose of diethylcarbamazine and albendazole (DEC/Alb) and followed for a year at regular intervals. Sixteen of the HIV+/FIL+ subjects (54%) and 28 of the HIV+/FIL- controls (57%) were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) during the study. Following treatment, no differences were noted in clinical outcomes between the 2 groups. There also was no significant difference between the groups in the HIV viral load at 12 months as a percentage of baseline viral load (HIV+/FIL+ group had on average 0.97 times the response of the HIV+/FIL- group, 95% CI 0.88, 1.07) between the groups. Furthermore, there were no significant differences found in either the change in viral load at 1, 3, or 6 months or in the change in CD4 count at 3, 6, or 12 months between the 2 groups.
Conclusions/Significance: We were unable to find a significant effect of W. bancrofti infection or its treatment on HIV clinical course or surrogate markers of HIV disease progression though we recognized that our study was limited by the smaller than predicted sample size and by the use of ART in half of the patients. Treatment of W. bancrofti coinfection in HIV positive subjects (as is usual in mass drug administration campaigns) did not represent an increased risk to the subjects, and should therefore be considered for PLWHA living in W. bancrofti endemic areas.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00344279

Author Summary: In people living with HIV infection, simultaneous infections can adversely affect HIV disease. This has been seen with bacterial (tuberculosis), viral (cytomegalovirus), and parasitic infections (toxoplasmosis). Lymphatic filariasis is caused by a thin thread-like parasite that lives in the lymph vessels of infected people. It can cause significant disability. This infection is found in much of the same areas that high levels of HIV infection. We were interested in knowing if lymphatic filariasis changed the course of HIV infection in people with both diseases. In this study, the authors enrolled people in India who were living with HIV who either had or didn’t have filarial infection. All patients were treated for filariasis with 2 drugs, and then were followed for 1 year to see how their HIV disease progressed. No difference in HIV disease progression was found between the groups that did or did not have filariasis before treatment. The patients with HIV did well with the medicine for filariasis.

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